“Dear comrades, Nosotros, the former full and part-time staff, write to you with deep sadness and disappointment about recent events that have occurred at Current Affairs,” a joint statement released on Wednesday began. “On August 8th, editor-in-chief Nathan J. Robinson (author of ‘Why You Should Be a Socialist’) unilaterally fired most of the workforce to avoid an organizational restructuring that would limit his personal power.”
“sí, we were fired by the editor-in-chief of a socialist magazine for trying to start a worker co-op,” the ex-staffer wrote in bold.
The letter detailed the formation of the worker co-op and how the goal, “including Nathan’s,” was to “create a democratic workplace where all voices were equally valued,” but he became “agitated” y “hostil” during an Aug. 7 meeting over Zoom.
“A la mañana siguiente, he started removing people from the company Slack, and sent letters requesting resignations, eliminating positions, and in some cases offering new ‘honorary titles,’ which would have no say in governance,” the ex-staffers wrote.
They allege that Robinson retracted statements he made in his letters demanding resignations in less than 24 hours and expressed it’s his project and “should have control.”
“We are sad, aghast, betrayed, y por supuesto, angry to realize that this person we trusted has been lying to us for years,” ellos dijeron. “We are frankly devastated to lose our high esteem for Current Affairs.”
The letter was signed by ex-business manager Allegra Silcox, ex-editor Lyta Gold, ex-administrative assistant Kate Christian Gauthreaux, ex-podcast producer Aisling McCrea and ex-poet at large Cate Root.
While some Current Affairs readers were dismayed by the conflict, other observers mocked the socialist vs socialist dilemma.
“sí, Nathan is a brazen hypocrite who would be leading the righteous denunciation if this happened to anyone else. The schadenfreude is merited. But the left has created a deranged, self-immolating culture where nobody can survive. Read this insanity,” journalist Glenn Greenwald retweeted the letter.
“Nathan J. Robinson, author of WHY YOU SHOULD BE A SOCIALIST, fires majority of @curaffairsstaff rather than allow them to organize. None of these people are serious!” Harpers Magazine columnist Thomas Chatterton Williams exclaimed. “It’s always the same story. The total lack of principle from the harshest scolds is just incredible.”
“Socialist fired from socialist magazine for doing socialism,” Daily Wire managing editor Emily Zanotti recapped.
“Socialists’ Magazine A Microcosm of Why Socialism Doesn’t Work,” Reason Magazine senior editor Robby Soave wrote.
Neither Robinson nor Current Affairs responded to Fox News’ solicitudes de comentarios, but Robinson issued a lengthy statement on Facebook.
“I’m trying to produce a more formal statement about it but bottom line is: I screwed up badly and did not live up to my values,” Robinson began. “I feel bad because I think I’ve generally done a good job for five years of making Current Affairs a pretty ethical organization and in a single day I bungled it and disappointed a lot of people. I’ve got a lot of work to do to rebuild trust, but I’m not sure if CA will survive, as subscribers rightly feel betrayed and we’re getting cancelations [sic]. I don’t blame people who cancel, all I can say is that I tried hard for five years to do right by people who worked for us and I’m really sad that I undid it in a single week.”
“Our subscription numbers had not been doing well lately and I felt I needed to exert some control over the org to get it back on track, asking some people to leave and moving others to different positions. Desafortunadamente, I went about this in a horrible way that made people feel very disrespected, asking for a bunch of resignations at once and making people feel like I did not appreciate their work for the organization,” Robinson said in defense of his actions.
Robinson assured his fans he never wanted to be a “workplace dictator” and that he’s “not a capitalist.”
“I have never taken more money for myself than anyone else on the full-time staff got, and want to do everything possible to ensure fair working conditions. What I did want was the ability to remain the executive director of the organization and be able to have staff report to me so as to make sure stuff was getting done. That may have been wrong. But that is how I felt,” Robinson wrote. “I think that it’s easy to talk about a belief in power sharing but when it comes down to actually sharing power over this thing I have poured my heart and soul into, it felt very very difficult to do. I found it easy to impose good working conditions and equal pay. Giving up control over running CA was a far harder thing for me to accept. This is a personal weakness that ran up against my principle.”
“I am sorry to all of you and to the staff of CA who did so much to make it what it is today. It’s my sincere hope that CA makes it through this because I think we have much more great work to do in the future. I will try my very best to make sure this is done in accordance with sound leftist values. This was not that,” él agregó.
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.